Our Pets getting us Through Quarantine

Posted by: 
Tiffany McDaniel

During the quarantine I found myself heavily relying on the companionship of my dog "Peanut Butter" AKA "Peanut." Having Cystic Fibrosis during this pandemic has been one of the scariest times of my life. The uncertainty of possibly catching COVID-19 weighed heavily on me everyday. When things first started getting crazy, I was still working as a delivery person. I would keep safe by wearing my mask, gloves, and not having any contact during deliveries, but here was still that little fear of getting sick. I eventually stopped working because it was not worth the risk. During that time I didn't want to risk passing anything onto my younger brother, who also has CF, so I avoided visiting my parents.

So, there I was quarantining alone just me and my dog not knowing when things would get better. My anxiety was sky-high at this time and I was stuck in the house. The first two weeks were the most difficult. I was still unsure if I had possibly contracted covid (I was feeling slightly unwell but realized later it was just my allergies) and was a nervous wreck over it. My dog Peanut was there to keep me sane. With him being home it forced me to not sit around and feel sorry for myself because I had the responsibility of taking care of him. Getting up early every morning to walk him no longer felt like a chore but something I looked forward to doing, because it got me out of the house. The fresh morning air and the 20 to 30-minute walk was a positive start to my day. When I finally felt safe to visit my family, I took Peanut with me and when we arrived the whole mood of the house changed. Having him there brought a calming feel to the home. His playfulness and constant need for attention took our minds off the situation. 

I was out of work for five months. The most I did at the time was travel back and forth to my parent's house. I was blessed to find different outlets to stay busy through programs like the CFLF's STROLO U. I was able to take a variety of online Zoom classes like dance, art, cycling, self-discovery and yoga, and I hosted a cooking class. I also enjoyed the movie nights hosted by the CFLF. It was a great distraction to have and enjoyable to participate in. Meeting different people with CF who were in the same boat of fear and boredom made the days more tolerable. Peanut made his appearance in almost every class. Having him around really helped my emotional and mental state. There were definitely some days when I would feel down and concerned about what the future held with this new virus, it seemed like Peanut could sense my anxiety and would comfort me by either laying next to me or just looking at me like he wanted to speak, it gave me the comfort I needed at the time.

By the end of August, it was time to go back to work and get used to the new normal of life. Getting my masks ready and relearning what it means to “work” was a nerve wrecking adjustment. The fears of “if I go back, I might get sick” started resurfacing. I knew I had to go back but the fears were worse than before. Thankfully, my job was very accommodating, and I felt safe returning to work. But what about my best friend? Peanut had become so used to me being home with him all the time, how would I make him understand that mommy had to go back to work? I started by leaving the house for an hour or so everyday so he could get used to the idea of being home by himself again. I kept up with our long walks and playtime, so it did not seem like everything was changing for him. When it came time for me to go back to work, I think I was more worried about being away than he was. I rushed home at the end of the day and opened the door to pointed ears and a wagging tail. Peanut has kept me active and sane during this pandemic, he helped with exercise and keeping my lungs strong. I know if I did not have him around, I would not have done half of the things I did and probably would have become depressed with isolation. He is truly a girl’s best friend and I would not trade him for the world!

 

Help Others Live STRONGER and LONGER- 

   

 

 

Tiffany McDaniel is 32 years old with Cystic Fibrosis. She resides in New York. She stays active by doing yoga and dancing. She is a newly appointed CFLF Board member. Tiffany has a passion for helping people in her community. She has her degree in American Sign Language. 

 

 

 

 

***Views expressed in the CFLF Blog are those of the bloggers themselves and not necessarily of the Cystic Fibrosis Lifestyle Foundation*** 

***Please speak with your physician before making any changes to your CF management***

 

To receive an e-mail notification and link to the new CFLF blog post each week please e-mail erin@cflf.org to be added to our list.

 

 

 

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <p> <h3> <h4> <h5>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Support CFLF